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I would give this book 10 stars if I could I wish it was twice as long It has a beautiful introduction full of thoughts on travel and what it is that draws people to remote places The majority of the book is two page segments where the island s map is on one side and the other has basic information on it when it was discovered, how many people inhabit it, important moments in its history as well as a narrative That was my favorite part It might have a legend, a historical moment, a disc I would give this book 10 stars if I could I wish it was twice as long It has a beautiful introduction full of thoughts on travel and what it is that draws people to remote places The majority of the book is two page segments where the island s map is on one side and the other has basic information on it when it was discovered, how many people inhabit it, important moments in its history as well as a narrative That was my favorite part It might have a legend, a historical moment, a discovery, or its destruction Who could forget St Kilda and the babies that wouldn t live past eight days old Christmas Island with its bright red migrating crabs I sat and read the descriptions and looked upphotos online of these places and dreamed Sign me up Maps tell us muchwhen they do not divide nature into nations when they allow it to form the basis of comparison across all the borders made by man Any point on the infinite globe of the Earth can become a centre Paradise may be an island But it is hell too An island offers a stage everything that happens on it is practically forced to turn into a story, into a chamber piece in the middle of nowhere, into the stuff of literature Give me an atlas over a guidebook any day There is nopoetic book in the world Amen, sister The mouse over tooltip for five stars here on Goodreads reads it was amazing and seldom have I come across a book to fit the bill better I was blown away by this wonderful atlas of islands already during the foreword The imagery of the author at eight, traveling the world by tracing a route with her finger in her atlas and her mother advising her to take the Panama canal, that s the shortest route is powerful and very vivid She brought her fascination with maps, atlases and islands in par The mouse over tooltip for five stars here on Goodreads reads it was amazing and seldom have I come across a book to fit the bill better I was blown away by this wonderful atlas of islands already during the foreword The imagery of the author at eight, traveling the world by tracing a route with her finger in her atlas and her mother advising her to take the Panama canal, that s the shortest route is powerful and very vivid She brought her fascination with maps, atlases and islands in particular with her into adulthood Her descriptions, insights and unique views of them moved and fascinated me and I don t think I will ever look at an atlas the same way again.The foreword was, as it should, just an introduction to things to come Each island is presented with a few base facts, a page of text often a historical account and then another page with a map The stories are carefully chosen and gives just enough to invoke imagination, fascination, thrill or possibly dread But that s not all Often the laconic facts are enough to get the mind spinning sometimes we re given a story of a village and society a hundred years ago, or two hundred years ago but when eyes fall upon the short facts, it says uninhabited or we learn of an island being abandoned or evacuated a long time ago and the same row states 4 residents and my mind reels Why Who are they What happened Here are islands with abandoned research stations, islands where half of the newborns succumbed to the 8 day sickness in the late 1800 s, islands with legends of buried treasures, islands where ships cannot make port Where 120 million crabs reside and migrate to the sea at a given time of the year, horrible penal colony sites Islands where a large number of the inhabitants are truly colorblind, where shipwrecked has built colonies, islands where cultures have blossomed and then vanished Easter Island, Bear Island, the island never found by Amelia Earhart And Antipodes Island, where the discoverer in 1800 realized that he was almost exactly opposite Greenwich and therefore as far away from home as he could be while still on the planet And every route home was equally long Actually, none of the 50 islands will leave you indifferent.Wonderful book and very highly recommended.Deception Island This is the anti travel book You ve never been to these places, and if you know what s good for you, you never will The author has never seen them, either In fact, hardly any living person has been to these spots, and with good reason This is the anti travel book You ve never been to these places, and if you know what s good for you, you never will The author has never seen them, either In fact, hardly any living person has been to these spots, and with good reason It came in a box with another book and a CD, delivered to my front porch and awaiting me Friday night At first look, it seemed scant A large type introduction, as if to exaggerate the number of pages Some maps of islands with brief written observations on the facing page I read a few Cute, but I was already in the middle of a novel I was really enjoying and this could wait on a coffee table, where maybe it would belong.Came Saturday morning, and the novel stood next to the Atlas My hand fl It came in a box with another book and a CD, delivered to my front porch and awaiting me Friday night At first look, it seemed scant A large type introduction, as if to exaggerate the number of pages Some maps of islands with brief written observations on the facing page I read a few Cute, but I was already in the middle of a novel I was really enjoying and this could wait on a coffee table, where maybe it would belong.Came Saturday morning, and the novel stood next to the Atlas My hand flexed, like a divining rod, and picked up the Atlas And I barely put it down again until I traveled around the world.Fifty remote islands Mostly uninhabited One where people never walked One where, until the 1990s, fewer people had trod than on the moon Some where only bones remain Yet, one has been inhabited for 3,000 years, the thousand residents following an extreme form of zero population growth Some can not yield vegetation One, thanks to massive bird droppings, is pure phosphate On another, inbreeding has caused 10 per cent of the 250 inhabitants to be color blind and they prefer it so Children born on another island die within eight days One will sink into the ocean forever, maybe next month, maybe next year you can still go there if you are not a researcher or a missionary One was the stage for a notorious murder These islands gave an ephemeral glance of the Transit of Venus, watched Amelia Earhart fly to her death, and hosted the Bounty s mutiny On one, six soldiers raised a flag There are songs and sex The New Zealand Department of Conservatism sends nine volunteers for six month stays on another island with no other inhabitants climbing skills and practical experience in maintaining buildings an advantage Address for applications included In this book you will find the ends of the earth and its navel Every island has a story Yes, Atlas of Remote Islands is a slim volume, but every sentence is perfect Fraulein Schalansky has been flawlessly translated This book will indeed have a home on my coffee table, not because it is voluptuous, but because I will re read it often and will want it handy.I will not read a cooler book this year.One thing about the Atlas befuddles me though It is subtitled Fifty Islands I Have Never Set Foot On and Never Will What How can you write a book like this and not want to go there Never Really Memo to self I know what you re thinking You want to go to all 50 islands before you die You can t Some are physically impossible Some would be too expensive And, anyhow, you don t have enough time left But, you should go to at least one of them before you die And recommend just such a trip to those on your friend list who like to travel and prefer an adventure Pukapuka is in the middle of the Pacific Ocean and has 600 inhabitants Surely one of them would have a cold beer for an old pilgrim.Memo to others The CD that came in the box was Sigh No More by Mumford Sons It proved, coincidentally, to be the perfect soundtrack for reading this book This book drove me crazy The author includes fifty islands, most unfamiliar to a general audience Iwo Jima and Easter Island are the only ones I recognized Each spread includes information like the island s name, area, number of residents, etymology of the name, parent country, distance from other locations, timeline of major events, a small map of where island is in relation to major continents, and a larger map of the island itself The brief text that accompanies this is liable to go in a This book drove me crazy The author includes fifty islands, most unfamiliar to a general audience Iwo Jima and Easter Island are the only ones I recognized Each spread includes information like the island s name, area, number of residents, etymology of the name, parent country, distance from other locations, timeline of major events, a small map of where island is in relation to major continents, and a larger map of the island itself The brief text that accompanies this is liable to go in any whimsical direction the author fancies for Tromelin, for example, you learn about a shipwreck in 1760 survivors were rescued sixteen years later Fascinating, but what about that tantalizing 4 residents up in the left hand corner Similarly, Christmas Island has 1,402 inhabitants but the text focuses on crabs and ants Frustrating Several of the stories are so moving and interesting, though, that they somewhat mitigate this unforgivable teasing The story of the boy Marc Liblin who learned a different language in his dreams only to discover thirty odd years later that it s the dialect of some remote island But most of these stories are very dark, come to think of it She says in the intro, Paradise is an island So is hell This book is muchfocused on hell than paradise islands are places of starvation, rape, genetic deformities due to inbreeding, extreme poverty, shipwrecks, brutal penal colonies, population control by suicide of unmarried women in bad crop years the list goes on An interesting and romantic idea, but I doubt I ll rememberthan one or two of the entries in a month Don t take this book to the beach unless you can access Wikipedia on your phone believe me, you ll be stopping every other entry to look up what s been left out in this unsatisfying treatment 2.5 stars Written, designed and even typeset by the author, this is an exquisite little book to read In terms of content, I think it is compelling in a car crash kind of way disturbing and at times horrific, but difficult to turn away from Some of the stories I was familiar with, and I ve even visited one of these fifty remote islands, but overall I agree with the author who says in her introduction what I found on my journey were not models of romantic, alternative ways of living, but islands one migh Written, designed and even typeset by the author, this is an exquisite little book to read In terms of content, I think it is compelling in a car crash kind of way disturbing and at times horrific, but difficult to turn away from Some of the stories I was familiar with, and I ve even visited one of these fifty remote islands, but overall I agree with the author who says in her introduction what I found on my journey were not models of romantic, alternative ways of living, but islands one might wish had remained undiscovered unsettlingly barren places whose riches lay in the multitude of terrible events that had befallen them Like any other atlas, the islands are grouped into regions in this case by ocean and each entry includes the name, alternate names, the ruling or owning territory, the co ordinates, the size, the number of inhabitants, a few distance comparisons to establish remoteness, and a timeline with some historical facts Then we get a detailed topographical map of the island followed by an anecdote generally 2 pages long where the horrors unfold It s almost like an anti travel guide A couple of stories that will stay with me are those of St Kilda, beyond the outermost of the Outer Hebrides in the Atlantic Ocean, with the mystery of its infant deaths, and Rapa Iti in French Polynesia Pacific Ocean , where a Frenchman went to live with his bride, the only woman who understands him, after learning an unknown language in his dreams as a child .FREE E-PUB ♩ Atlas of Remote Islands ☫ A rare and beautifully illustrated journey to fifty faraway worlds There are still places on earth that are unknown Visually stunning and uniquely designed, this wondrous book captures fifty islands that are far away in every sense from the mainland, from people, from airports, and from holiday brochures Author Judith Schalansky used historic events and scientific reports as a springboard for each island, providing information on its distance from the mainland, whether its inhabited, its features, and the stories that have shaped its lore With full color maps and an air of mysterious adventure, Atlas of Remote Island is perfect for the traveler or romantic in all of us This is genuinely a delightful book And it s such an original concept I mean, how often do you think of islands Really think of islands Not very often Me either Judith Schalansky however, has thought about islands a lot, and she shares it with the world in this beautiful book Each island takes up two pages, one with a small description and one with a simple, but wonderful illustration of the island The description is not a description per se, it sa selected story about the island i This is genuinely a delightful book And it s such an original concept I mean, how often do you think of islands Really think of islands Not very often Me either Judith Schalansky however, has thought about islands a lot, and she shares it with the world in this beautiful book Each island takes up two pages, one with a small description and one with a simple, but wonderful illustration of the island The description is not a description per se, it sa selected story about the island itself, a piece of its history or a story that relates to the island in some way I know that islands exist, of course, but I had no idea that so many of them were so inaccessible, or that some of them have got such a rich, weird, grotesque or down right horrible history I just love it, I love hearing about these weird, odd details about the world, that there exists places we d be hard pressed to access, we ve been to the moon for godssake, but some of these islands Of course we probably won t put in the effort, considering we might not find anything interesting, but some of these stories certainly tell you otherwise Some of the stories Schalansky shares are incredible in their awfulness or ridiculousness Some of these islands contain so much mystery, and events we ll never learn the truth of Some of them have inhabitants and societies with rules, laws and norms that directly defy what we think is right, or thought possible There s Tikopia, for instance, with a population of 1200 and not , because this is the number of people the island can feed Population control was of utmost importance and apparently involved people voluntarily killing themselves, killing babies if they knew they couldn t feed them down the line, celibacy etc I don t think they do this any, but still Holy shit There s the Floreana island, where a school teacher and a dentist moved to live alone and naked it would seem , then another woman and two of her lovers arrived as well and this new woman terrorizes the island Everyone ends up dead, but the schoolteacher who returns to the mainland, the skeleton of one of them is found on an entirely different island no one knows what happened Some of it is downright unbelievable There s a story about a boy who learns a language through dreams that s only spoken on a tiny island in the Pacific Ocean where he s never been Some guy gets eaten by penguins It s incredible The stories go from descriptive, to be about historical events, recent events, events that are curious, mysterious, events we recognize, or it s things we, most likely, have no idea ever took place Schalansky captures what it is that makes islands, to her, so captivating and interesting They re vastly different, there are islands from all over the world, with different nature, size, animals, accessibility, histories One island had had, until recently, less people on it than there had been on the moon It s such a delightful way to show how odd and weird and incredible the earth is And islands, in their isolation, in their disregard for what happens all over the rest of the world, feel removed, foreign and strange, it s seeing earth in a new way, a reminder that there s so much that s wild, untamed, untouched and mysterious on this planet still I wish she d beenprecise in the descriptions sometimes She could have added a few dates to let us know if the story is new or old, and sometimes the stories were a little sparse on information, making it difficult to figure out exactly what she was trying to tell I always would have liked her to include, in a few instances,about the actual island and not just some vaguely related story they were still interesting stories though All island illustrations also had these yellow markings, but nowhere is it described what they re for Sometimes you can figure it out, sometimes not, so maybe that should have been added.But my critique is minimal, and honestly, it s a beautifully illustrated book of 50 islands with peculiar, fascinating stories Definitely the sort of book you d like for your coffee table Or if you want islands to be cool again Or if you like maps, islands or pretty books It s honestly very versatile Physically, this is a very lovely book In concept it is surely a contender for the ultimate expression of armchair journalism on Earth The proportions and weight of this book makes it deeply satisfying to hold I love the very feel of the paper the minimal palette of colour the frustratingly unspecified fonts used to set the texts In relief, each island is positioned on a background of water cool pale greyish blue annotated with bays and settlements, points and capes, lesser islands, san Physically, this is a very lovely book In concept it is surely a contender for the ultimate expression of armchair journalism on Earth The proportions and weight of this book makes it deeply satisfying to hold I love the very feel of the paper the minimal palette of colour the frustratingly unspecified fonts used to set the texts In relief, each island is positioned on a background of water cool pale greyish blue annotated with bays and settlements, points and capes, lesser islands, sand, ice, roadways, andAtolls convey a sense of hovering half formed between dry land and wet reef.Edward Tufte would, I believe, wholeheartedly approve of the design layout of information within this book It s beautiful, functional, and profoundly informative With admirable elegance and economy, the thoughtful design behind this book talks to its reader of data visual and numerical the source and weight of which communicates understanding of the precise position inhabited on our planet by each of fifty chosen islands some well known, most lesser known All that was required of me was to use my eyes, native intelligence, and subconscious to select, recognise, assess and combine the subtle and not so subtle information rich signals of communication Fifty islands explored by the author and reader solely through the maps and writings of others Ah Therein lay my only problem with this book and one that grew to be surprisingly irritatingly annoying to me the accompanying block text This book has no bibliography The East German author admits that she writes in tales that over the course of centuries, facts have become fictionalised She claims that her un evidenced research is both extensive and factual verily that from ancient and rare books she has transformed and appropriated textsas sailors appropriate the lands they discover.I skip read every left hand page of such text Soap bubbles popped and burst and wept their watery regrets What I had expected would be a deeply satisfying elegant exposition on the page had been casually sabotaged through a lost opportunity I craved facts, not factoids Here was disappointment with a capital D All I could temporarily retrieve was some satisfaction in the use of a yellow double to indicate the end of a paragraph and the beginning of the next on the same line Some consolation Meanwhile I wistfully speculated on the chances if any that the author and publisher just might be sufficiently kind and commercially minded enough to produce a second, different version of this book, to market alongside this first one Meantime, licking my wounded hopes, I ve retreated to the World Wide Web, and NASA s wonderful webpages describing the exploration of Mars Fifty remote islands The author didn t see them I will probably never visit them Every island has a story, beautiful like a fairy tale, and a beautiful map This is a very good way to get through the winter.